Director of the Janette Ogg Voice Research Center and Associate Professor of Voice (Baritone) and Vocal Pedagogy David Meyer, D.M.; Richard Lewellen ’15 (Master of Music Therapy); and Dr. Eva van Leer (Georgia State University) published “The effects on acoustic voice measures and the perceived benefits of a group singing program for adults with Parkinson’s Disease,” in the Australian Journal of Voice. This peer-reviewed international journal is published by the Australian Association of Teachers of Singing.
This single-group, pre-post, quasi-experimental study examined the effects of participation in a therapeutic singing protocol (TSP) on the voice quality and well-being of individuals with Parkinson’s disease who attended eight weekly Parkinson’s community choir rehearsals. Participants showed statistically significant improvements in sample duration, mean intensity, maximum intensity, cepstral peak prominence, jitter, shimmer and harmonic-to-noise ratio. Post-choir interviews noted participants believed their voices had become stronger, reported increased confidence in conversation, improved mood, and that the choir was an intrinsically motivating and meaningful experience. Consequently, TSP may have potential as an adjunct to speech therapy to improve the vocal functioning of individuals with Parkinson’s disease.